Ben Simmons is set to make a comeback after more than a year away from the game.
The 2016 overall draft pick has not played in an NBA game since June 20, 2021, when the Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Atlanta Hawks 103-96 in Game 7. Following the blowout loss, fans, the media and the head coach wondered aloud if Simons was the right point guard for a championship team.
The tension between Simmons and Philly finally broke after a months-long rift and suspension that led to Philly trading Simmons to Brooklyn at the trade deadline. Although Simmons found a new home in Brooklyn, he still loves the City of Brotherly Love.
“Philly is obviously a sports town. My experience playing there was amazing. Simmons said during an appearance on former teammate JJ Redick’s podcast. “For the most part, it was unbelievable. I had a great time. The fans were unbelievable. I still have an apartment there, so I still have some real estate in Philadelphia. So I still feel like I’m a part of Philly.”
Simmons averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds per game, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game during his time in Philly. He also made four All-Star teams, earned All-NBA and two All-Defensive Team nods, and led the NBA in steals in 2020. The two-way dynamo also took some time to talk with JJ Redick about his move to Brooklyn. .
“Being in Brooklyn now, it’s completely different,” Simmons said. It’s a different experience for me. I cherish my time in Philly. I was able to learn and grow in that city. And I have friends for life. My brother lives there. I met family there. Philly is great. I think people have ideas that I hate.
Simmons has a chance to open a new chapter in his career as he prepares to play alongside Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the rest of his Brooklyn Nets teammates.